1 New Book, 8 Is Not Enough, and 10 More Songs! (part 5 of 10)

So, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter you might know that I have a new book that came out Tuesday. If you aren’t sick of saying so, then perhaps I am not doing my job guerrilla marketing enough. So I may as well add a blog post about the book before I get to the 5th group of 10 songs in my top 100 list.

The Book: WWE 100 Greatest Matches. I got to be part of some amazing books during my seven years working at WWE. (Hell, I got to be part of a few amazing wrestling books before my time at WWE. The three books I did at Sports Publishing LLC probably helped me get the WWE gig in the first place.) While I did write one book while working at corporate (10 Count Trivia) and contributed to several others, this is the first book I wrote solo. We solicited authors, wwe.com contributors, Superstars, and more to get a vast range of opinions of the greatest matches in WWE history. I built the list of 100 using these lists as a guide. For each match, I then rewatched them a few times, and wrote about the leadup to the match, the match action, and then the aftermath. Each match is a two-page spread accompanied by several awesome photographs from the WWE library. I also was super lucky, because Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, who’s match with Macho Man Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania III was a no-brainer addition to the list, wrote the introduction, giving the book’s authoring team some much needed star power.

Are you already interested? The book should be at your local Barnes & Noble in the sports section, or you can order it from Amazon Here!

Cover

The reviews: Still not convinced that this should top your summer reading list? How about some awesome reviews that really stoked my ego at a time that my self-esteem could use the boost. Here’s one and here’s another! The real kicker is that WWE even made a video promo for the book. If you ask me honestly, the WWE Encyclopedia is still the project I am most proud of working on, but this is pretty darn close.

The real heroes: Other than my involvement, what is the primary similarity between my new book and the Encyclopedia? The editors, designers, production team of DK/Brady/Prima. I’ve worked in the publishing industry for decades, so I already knew of the magic Rube Goldberg  machine that took text to finished product, but it’s even more stunning when it’s my crappy words that get turned into a spectacular visual product.

I am sure I won’t continue to bring up this book–hopefully, I will soon have another project to announce and I can move on. Worst case scenario, it’s only 3 to 300 more blogs tied to the book. But let’s make this one a best seller in the meantime by buying this book for dads, moms, brothers, sisters, your letter carrier, Seth Green, Bill Simmons, that lady who lives down the street–it’s the perfect gift for anyone.

Back to my music list and the reason for the music list in the first place–listening while exercising. My previous blog, Renewing My Fitbit Vows (part 4 of 10), mentioned that I was back to hitting my 11,000 step, 5.5 mile goal–with 5 straight days. I am now on an 8-day streak, although upping it to 9 will be a challenge, as we are driving to North Carolina tomorrow for a First Communion weekend.

  • Falling in Love (Uh-Oh)–Miami Sound Machine
  • No Myth–Michael Penn
  • Heroes–David Bowie
  • Hip Hop Is Dead–Nas (featuring Will.I.Am)
  • Rapper’s Delight–Sugarhill Gang
  • And She Was–Talking Heads
  • Let’s Go Crazy–Prince
  • I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)–Hercules Soundtrack
  • Crazy For You–Madonna
  • Us and Them–Pink Floyd

I always thought a “Guilty Pleasure” album featuring acclaimed music acts doing covers of  songs you wouldn’t expect them to perform would be a great concept album. If I was such an artist,  I have no doubt that Miami Sound’s Machine’s “Falling in Love (Uh-Oh)” would be my contribution to the project. I’ve always had a soft spot for soft rock. I love Air Supply for example, but I did not put any of their songs on my 100. There is another song that represents this side of my personality to come, but there is no guiltier pleasure than this Gloria Estefan number. The other candidate from this batch is the romantic song from the animated movie Hercules. This song was already on my list, but then my daughter made me love it even more by using it for a college film project.

For a long time, Michael Penn was the ultimate one-hit wonder as I absolutely adored “No Myth” from the first time I heard it. “What if I was Romeo in black jeans?” is a question I can hear sung any time and it makes me smile. The driving chords from the acoustic guitar are also so distinctive. But I had not heard another song from Penn, the brother of actors Sean and Chris Penn, since (by the way, that seems like a brutally talented trio of siblings–what are my kids going to do to match that? No pressure!) But 12 years later, Penn performed a duet with the incredible Aimee Mann (his wife and the former lead singer of ‘Til Tuesday) of the Beatles song “Two of Us” for the I Am Sam soundtrack. (I cannot recommend the movie at all, but the soundtrack is definately worth owning.) That’s a song  that just missed this list.

The two music giants that we lost this year are represented on this group of ten. I had already talked in some detail about Prince in the blog entry Royal Discography but David Bowie was another crushing loss in 2016. Like Prince, I do not ever remember a time in my life when Bowie wasn’t cool. He was making his “comeback” so to speak in 1983 when I first started really paying attention to music.  His three hits from the Let’s Dance album were mainstays on American Top 40 that year, and they are such incredible songs to sing along with anytime they play on the radio. Loving those songs inspired me to work backwards on his catalog, and I was so delighted to discover his earlier work. Again, any number of songs could make a favorites list, but “Heroes” is theone that makes the cut for me.

I am glad that the premise of the Nas song that makes my list, “Hip Hop is Dead,” is decidedly not true. Not only is this a song that I love hearing any time it comes up, but often I have to tilt the randomness of my ipod by specifically selecting the song to play. The sampling of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is inspired and the wordplay on the song about the commercialization of the genre is fantastic. I can’t say I am a hip-hop/rap expert, but I have loved having it in my life back to the days of “Rapper’s Delight.” I remember being obsessed with that song in 1980. I was in fifth grade and I would constantly rap the lyrics anywhere and everywhere. I have a lasting memory of (I thought) quietly doing them at my school desk and the girl sitting in front of me turning around and hissing the request that I please shut up.

My favorite band for years was the Talking Heads. They were my first real break from Top 40 music, even if “Burning Down the House” was a top ten hit. Seeing the concert movie Stop Making Sense as well as listening to “And She Was” and the rest of the Little Creatures album did it for me. Not seeing them in concert was one of my great musical regrets. I am not proud to finally admit that the only reason I started to listening to them in the first place was to impress a woman. I was a bus boy in high school and Danielle, two years older than me, was a big fan of the band. I wanted to impress her, so I started listening to their music to have something to discuss. While my initial reasons were not pure, I loved what I heard and they remain a favorite of mine. In fact, another song will be coming as well as a song featuring David Byrne.

The first of two Madonna songs to make my list was the absolute greatest slow dance songs from my high school years. We used to have dances in our church basement, and my friend Aaron and I would DJ them (this is not to say we were DJs in the way people DJ now–we just played one song after another and would come up with idiotic prizes for dance contests–thank god cameras were not so ubiquitous back then–I would not liked to have seen my moves preserved on  YouTube for the rest of my life. But “Crazy for You” was an excellent tune to slow dance to if you could convince a girl to do so. Looking back, it is amazing I ever got anyone to do so. I was a dork back then, not the dashing and suave hero I am now.

Finally, my love of pop music, American Top 40 (or more specifically Billboard  magazine charts), numbers, and records intersected with the amazing fact that Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd spent more than a decade on the Top 200 album charts. Don’t get me wrong–like all white American middle schoolers, I eventually got into Pink Floyd and love that album, as well as the song “Us and Them” in particular. But that is just an amazing number–more than 700 weeks and 15 years on the chart. I’d settle for 700 readers or 15 straight Fitbit goal days in a row.

“Falling” back into a routine

I can’t believe that I have been completely ignoring this blog recently–what is it, the emotional needs of my family? I have been going to the gym, or exercising at all, less often recently. I’ve had the usual excuses–bad weather, trying to launch a freelance business while continuing to desperately search for a full-time position, on the run from shadowy government organizations–I know, I know, if you had $1 for each person with that troika of problems, you would be swimming in candy.

But as my birthday approaches, I need to get back into the good habits of working out. So last night, after an excellent St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage (I don’t think I need to tell you that beef is my favorite of the corned dishes, crushing corned chicken, corned lamb, corned corn, with only corned candy coming close), my son and I hit the gym for a little exercise time!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

3.30 miles on the eliptical machine

  • Fallin’–Alicia Keys
  • Fallin’ Apart–The All-American Rejects
  • Fallin’ for You–Colbie Callat
  • Falling–Angelo Badalamenti
  • Falling for the First Time–Barenaked Ladies
  • Falling for the First Time–Barenaked Ladies
  • Falling in Love (Live)–Lisa Loeb
  • Falling in Love (Uh-Oh)–Miami Sound Machine
  • Fallout–Linkin Park
  • Falls to Climb–R.E.M.
  • The Fame–Lady Gaga
  • Fame (’90 Remix)–David Bowie
  • Fame < Infamy–Fallout Boy
  • Family Friend–The Vaccines

I have not picked up any of Alicia Keys’ recent albums (and certainly none since she started adding her branding AK logo to them), but I do enjoy “Songs in a Minor” which I picked up well over a decade ago. Not to get all contemplative on you (although it will happen when one is so close to a birthday), but it kind of blows my mind when I see that someone like Alicia has been releasing albums for more than 10 years–she seems like an impressive new artist to me, as opposed to a season veteran of the industry, which is a far more apt description. The All-American Rejects fall into that category for me as well. I think “what a great new band! I really like that new Move Along album, ignorant to the fact (willfully in all probability) that the album was released eight years ago. In a weird way, the Colbie Callat song “Falling for You” hits me in the opposite direction. I know it’s a newer song, but to me, it sounds like it is the opening theme of a workplace romantic sitcom that aired in the 80’s. I don’t mean that as an insult–I enjoy sitcoms and the 80s.

Speaking of the 80’s (or 1990, to be exact), hearing any of Angelo Badalamenti’s compositions take me back to college when Twin Peaks was on the air. I don’t think fans of today’s serial dramas appreciate the debt dramas of the last decade, like Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story, and more, owe to Twin Peaks. The show was appointment television, particularly that first season, and Badalamenti’s haunting music helped set the show’s tone. It’s certainly jarring to then move to the Barenaked Ladies, so it was nice to have two versions of the song (studio album and greatest hits) to really complete the tonal shift.

My family owns a number of CDs–many came from my collection, some came from my wife, and my kids have added quite a few over the years as well. The rarest category of CDs is the “I have no idea where these came from” offerings, and the Lisa Loeb “Falling in Love” single comes from one of theose–a live CD from Lilith Fair (to be more accurate, disc one of a two-disc live CD collection from Lilith Fair, although to make things even more confusing, we only seem to have the first disc). I’m not sure where we got it, but I do enjoy several of the tracks on the album, as well as studio albums from several of the performers. I think it’s not a confession to admit to enjoying that album as much as it is to admit how much I like the Miami Sound Machine’s “Falling in Love (Uh-Oh)”. I freely admit it is a bit of schmaltzy pop, but I have no problem listening to it (and singing along if no one is around). The Linkin Park song comes from an album that my kids added to the collection. I am not trying to deflect blame–I enjoy some Linkin Park. I just thought you might want to know.

My children are also the Lady Gaga fans, although I have been know to embarrass the kids by singing along to one or two of her catchier numbers. So I may enjoy the music of Lady Gaga, I would take Bowie’s “Fame” over her’s on any day of the week. It’s not a complete wash for her though, as I find her “Fame” far superior to the Irene Cara title song from the movie and TV show (I am not sure if Cara’s version made it into the recently remade movie, I would guess not. More importantly, seeing that if I asked 100 people on the street who sang the title track to the 80’s movie Fame, the over/under on correct guesses would be, what 5, I have to dispute Ms. Cara’s assertion that she is “gonna live forever…”

Fallout Boy was responsible for a great deal of excitement, bitter disappointment, jubilation, bitter disappointment, and finally relief in our house over the last month or so. Please allow me to explain. My oldest daughter absolutely loves Fallout Boy and was so excited to learn than not only were they releasing a new album, they planned to tour to support the album, with several shows planned for cities in our area. The excitement turned sour when she could not get tickets as all of the shows would sell out within a minute of the tickets going on sale. Luckily for her, it was eventually announced that Fall Out Boy would be headlining a festival in New Jersey and she, her brother, and a friend were all able to get tickets. This led to my bitter disappointment as I thought I would be driving them to an all-day concert at least an hour south of New York city, and would have to kill time down there in order to avoid two round trips. However, they are riding with someone else, so the relief was mine–I hope they enjoy the show.

The last song comes from the Vaccines debut album. I believe I’ve pumped up the group in the past, but if I haven’t let me recommend them here. They’ve got a great and raw garage band sound, and I am looking forward to more from the group in the future.

 

Charlize Theron introduces Teenage Fanclub to me

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the blogging discipline to post entries on two consecutive days, but that’s today’s goals. Now to ensure that I do it, I may only write about one day’s list, but with a list as varied and awesome as the mix I got on 7/26, I think it’s worthwhile. By the way, on a real-time front, I am excited to report that I’m nearing a number of exciting milestones in both the song list and the blog. I’ve kept pushing my exercise routines, so I am less than a dozen songs from completing ‘C’ and moving on to the fourth letter in the alphabet, which is always an exciting time–only 25 letter switches after all. I’m also closing in on 2,000 songs. I will have to calculate my pace to see how I’m doing, but I think things are moving well. On the blog front, I’m within 20 views of quadruple digits–that’s right 1,000 views! I still need to consider new and exciting ways to promote the blog, but I’m happy with the direction over the first 85 posts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

3.25 miles on the elliptical machine at the gym

  • Commotion–Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Complicated–Avril Lavigne
  • Complicated Girl–The Bangles
  • Complicated Shadows–Elvis Costello
  • Complicated Shadows–Elvis Costello
  • A Complicated Song–“Weird Al” Yankovic
  • Computer Assisted Design–They Might Be Giants
  • The Concept–Teenage Fanclub
  • Concrete and Clay–Unit 4 + 2
  • Conga–Miami Sound Machine
  • Congratulations–Traveling Wilburys
  • Conquest–The White Stripes
  • The Consequences of Falling–k.d. lang
  • Conspiracy–Paramore
  • Constant Craving–Glee Cast
  • Constructive Summer–The Hold Steady

This was one of my favorite exercise lists to date–there was something was everyone! (Well, except for people that don’t like music at all. In that case, I’m fairly certain that nothing would satisfy you.) CCR is always an excellent opener to any music list, including exercise-based selections. I’m trying to remember whether “Complicated” or “Sk8ter Boi” was our first exposure to Ms. Lavigne. My oldest daughter doesn’t remember either, but she did remind me that she heard a song in Circuit City (RIP), really liked it, and I ended up buying her the CD–her first music CD ever. Luckily, she’s not so connected to Avril that she can’t see the humor in the parody song “A Complicated Song” from Weird Al that shows up later in the list, and I, of course, love the number despite it opening with a stanza devoted to constipation.

I think Everything by the Bangles is a great and overlooked album and “Complicated Girl” is an excellent track from the release. As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, my wife is the Elvis Costello fan, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying his work as well. I mostly know his more famous tracks, but “Complicated Shadows” is a fun number as well. Back when I was doing computer books in the 90s for Sams, I was always baffled by the lack of pop songs about CAD (Computer Aided Design). Thankfully, They Might Be Giants stepped in and corrected this oversight on their Here Comes Science album. Luckily, you don’t need a dongle to enjoy the album (about 3 people are going to get that reference!).

We all have pop culture blind spots and clearly Teenage Fanclub sat in one of mine. It took seeing Young Adult to draw my attention to “The Concept”. I was highly impressed with both, and immediately purchased the song on iTunes. If you haven’t seen the film, get it. Charlize Theron’s work in the movie is outstanding, and I thought both she and Patton Oswalt deserved Oscar nominations for their work in the film. (I will warn you that there’s almost nothing redeeming about the story’s central character, and I know that some can find that off-putting, but it really works for me.) My wife did not enjoy the film as much as I did, but the next song, “Concrete and Clay”, comes from the soundtrack of one of her favorite films of all time, Rushmore.

The next two songs are 80s releases, with one being a bit pop hit (“Conga”) and the other an album track from the first Traveling Wilburys album (by the way, I hate to head things off onto a grammar and syntax tangent, but shouldn’t the plural form of “Wilbury” be “Wilburies”?). “Congratulations” was one of the Dylan-vocal driven songs from Volume 1. Things jumped ahead a few decades for one of my favorite White Stripes songs, “Conquest”. With two songs remaining, it’s a little ironic that I get one k.d. lang song and “Constant Craving” (lang’s biggest hit), but they are not the same song. Instead, I got the opening track from Invincible Summer and the Glee version of “Constant Craving”, which means I need to purchase the original version of the song. The other last two songs are a Paramore number, and my favorite Hold Steady song, “Constructive Summer”.

 

 

6 miles at a blistering pace with a stop for boiled goose

Finally got caught up on Red Sox walks the last two days–my preference is always to walk outside but we’ve had consistent and frustrating rain for most of the beginning of this week, so Tuesday night I was able to get some treadmill time in at the gym before I had to race my daughter home for the third season finale of Glee (you may not have been able to tell she was a big fan if you ignored the clue that we own about 300 songs from the show). Then yesterday finally saw the much-needed break in the rain that allowed some extended outside walking. By the way, no need to call Guinness about the title–it referred to the blister I got from walking too much in a single day. But don’t worry about me–I’ll soldier on, and I’m only needing to walk 2 miles for yesterday’s Red Sox victory.

May 22-23, 2012

6+ miles treadmill/neighborhood walking to commemorate Red Sox victories #19, #20, and #21 of the 2012 season

  • Body to Body–Miami Sound Machine
  • Bogie’s Bonnie Belle–Richard Thompson
  • Bohemian Rhapsody–Queen
  • Bohemian Rhapsody–Glee Cast
  • Boho Dance–Bjork
  • Boll Weevil–The Presidents of the United States
  • Bombay–Timbaland
  • Bombers Bay–Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Bone Broke–The White Stripes
  • Bones–The Killers
  • Bonfire–Childish Gambino
  • Bonny [live]–AC/DC
  • Bonus–Johnny Socko
  • Bonus–Johnny Socko
  • The Boogie Monster–Gnarls Barkley
  • Book of Dreams–Suzanne Vega
  • Book of Dreams–Dion
  • Bookends Theme–Simon & Garfunkel
  • Bookends Theme–Simon & Garfunkel
  • The Bookhouse Boys–Angelo Badalamenti
  • Boom Boom Pow–Black Eyed Peas
  • Boom Box–The Lonely Island
  • Bootleg [live]–John Fogerty
  • Boots of Spanish Leather–The Airborne Toxic Event
  • Boots of Spanish Leather–Bob Dylan
  • Booyaka 619–P.O.D.
  • Bop to The Top–Sharpay & Ryan (High School Musical Cast)
  • Border Song–Elton John
  • Borderline–Alison Krauss
  • Borderline–Madonna
  • Borderline–Madonna
  • Borderline/Open Your Heart–Madonna

We all have out guilty pleasure music/tv/movies, and in the first category, I would list “Miami Sound Machine”. While I don’t own the band’s complete catalogue, I do enjoy almost everything off Primative Love, with one song in particular (which I will discuss in deeper detail when I get to it) holding a special place in my heart. Speaking of Gloria Estefan, she popped up on the season finale of Glee that I mentioned earlier (I promise I was only watching in passing!). For a woman looking to celebrate her 55th birthday this year, she looks great. She could be described as either a “bonnie” or a “belle” so she hit two-thirds of the Richard Thompson song title that followed–I would not describe her as “bogie” so she’s not the trifecta.

The defining song of Queen came next, one that gets a pop culture revival every few years. It shouldn’t need it, as with its shifting styles and tempos and grand feel, the song is a must-own for everyone. But thanks to Wayne’s World, Rock Band 3, and Glee, the song has seen popularity boosts in the last few decades (with the first being the largest boost). But man, it is a long song, and I got to hear it twice–although the Glee version doesn’t hold a candle to the original of course. Going from a Freddy Mercury song to a Bjork seems like a fairly natural transition, even if the latter’s contribution is only a tribute to Joni Mitchell.

I remember from history classes that boll weevils were a blight upon the cotton growing industry, but thanks to POTUS, they can be a blight on my musical lists as well! (Only kidding, the song, like most Presidents of the United States selections, is a fun rocking tune.) Speaking of fun, “Bombay” is probably my favorite Timbaland song. I love the exotic music mixed with his beats. Now in their song, Echo & The Bunnymen travel quite a bit, but I’m not entirely sure where “Bomber’s Bay” is located, but if we cut out the ‘ber’s ‘ in the middle, it could be Bombay as well. I’d like to visit Bombay (or Bomber’s Bay) some time, but at this point in my life, extensive travel is not on the menu. I won’t say that I’m “Bone Broke” despite the fact that it would be an awesome transition to the next song on the list. The song is another reminder that I’d like to pick up the new Jack White solo album as I’ve heard a couple of the tracks on the radio and have enjoyed them. The anatomy lesson continued with the Killers “Bones”, another excellent track from their Sam’s Town album. I then got a Childish Gambino track “Bonfire”. I know I’ve said that I’m still trying to figure out whether I like his CD, but “Bonfire” is great, and it’s received some repeat listens from me recently.

The next three tracks passed quickly, as they were all effectively transitional songs from albums. “Bonny” was from an AC/DC performance in Scotland–the band treated it as an instrumental, but the fans provide the vocals. It’s a pretty cool demonstration of the power a large crowd can have when united to accomplish something, even something as simple as a song.  That was followed by two tracks with the same “Bonus” name from the debut album of Johnny Socko. When things returned to normal songs, I heard my first Gnarls Barkley song on this list, “The Boogie Monster”. My wife recently joked that if I ever passed away, she’d consider having an affair with Billy Bragg’s voice. I think she’d also consider the voice of Cee-Lo Green as well, as she loves his dulcet tones. I do as well, but I wouldn’t go that far.

Time to head to the library as I got two “Book of Dreams” releases, first by Suzanne Vega, which I enjoyed more, with the second being a Dion cover of a Bruce Springsteen song from “Lucky Town”, one of the rare Bruce Springsteen albums we don’t own–so we get the cover but not the original. Things stay bookish but get transitional again with the “Bookends” themes from Simon & Garfunkel that opened and closed side one of their same-titled album. The first is instrumental and the second has a small amount of lyrics. The last volume of my “Book…” collection is an instrumental piece from the television program Twin Peaks. Like much of the soundtrack album, “The Bookhouse Boys” is such a unique piece that it immediately puts me back to when I was in college and each new episode was an event. It’s too bad that cable networks didn’t exist then, as I believe an HBO or AMC could have given Lynch the time and  creative freedom to make Twin Peaks last five seasons.

Despite their lackluster Super Bowl halftime performance, I continue to be a big Black Eyed Peas fan, and will mix tracks in from The E.N.D. in any and all playlists. I’ve heard people complain that the group was overexposed on radio, but where I don’t listen to radio and instead choose my own tracks, I didn’t have to suffer through that issue. The Peas were followed by another monster rap-influenced group, the Lonely Island. Their “Boom Box” track, like most of their songs, has a great beat and hilarious lyrics, particularly their obsession with boiled goose throughout the number.

John Fogerty was the last song before a pseudo-Spanish run began, starting with two versions of “Boots of Spanish Leather”, first a cover by the Airborne Toxic Event and then the original by Bob Dylan. Listening to the song, it seems like the title should be “Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather” but Bob didn’t want redundancy in the title even if it’s in the lyrics. I guess I should just be thankful it’s not called “Bob Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather”. P.O.D.’s theme song for Rey Mysterio keeps the Hispanic flavor coming, but then the cast of High School Musical really stretch things with the two whitest kids in the cast singing a song with lots of Spanish words and phrases. Perhaps they learned them from the household help.

I knew the list was coming to an end as I reached the border.  Elton John gave me the first clue before I reached the “Borderline”. Of course when I hear that title, I automatically assumed it was the Madonna version, but first I got a different song with the same title from Allison Krauss. I don’t remember the song, but I really enjoyed it. I then got the “Borderline” I first remembered, with two versions actually, one from her debut self-titled album and one from a greatest hits collection. Things closed with a “Borderline” mash-up with “Open Your Heart” from the Madonna-themed episode of Glee, which I feel was the strongest themed episode of the show.

 

 

The “Bad” luck of the Spent Poets and finding the elusive musical triples

I don’t know what makes me happier–the fact that I was so disappointed with only hitting the gym for 1.27 miles yesterday, or that I was so pumped to get back today and push myself for three-and-a-half miles today. I may have to go off the board and pick the fact that my oldest daughter is coming home from Europe tomorrow, which has the twin value of getting to see her and the end of April vacation for the kids. Overall, today was  a bit of a hit and miss sort of day–pretty happy to work out and to watch the emotional return of so many Red Sox from 40 years of watching the team during the 100th anniversary ceremony before the game today, but then watching the team drop its fourth straight game really undid a lot of the good will.

April 20, 2012

3.52 miles at the gym plus upper-arm weight work at the gym

  • Backyard–Natasha Bedingfield
  • Bad–Michael Jackson
  • Bad–U2
  • Bad Apples–Guns ‘N Roses
  • Bad Bad World–Guster
  • Bad Boy–The Beatles
  • Bad Boy–Cascada
  • Bad Boy–Miami Sound Machine
  • Bad Boy [Live]–Cowboy Junkies
  • Bad Boy (Razor Ramon)–WWE
  • A Bad Case of Melancholy–The Spent Poets
  • Bad Company–Bad Company
  • Bad Day–Daniel Powter
  • Bad Girls–M.I.A.
  • Bad Is Bad–Huey Lewis & The News
  • Bad Kids–Lady Gaga
  • Bad Love–Eric Clapton

Natasha Bedingfield’s CD belongs to my oldest daughter, and while I don’t mind her songs when they come on, I don’t actively seek them out. (For a food analogy, her songs are like biscotti, an enjoyable snack, but if I get to choose, I’ll always pick something else.)  Obviously when it comes to picking the more memorable “Bad”, Michael Jackson is going to be the choice, but thanks to Weird Al, I enjoy the U2 version more, as I cannot hear “Bad” without thinking of Yankovic’s parody “Fat”. The funny thing is that I don’t have this issue with most Weird Al parody songs; I can usually enjoy each version separately, but “Bad”/”Fat” seems to be the exception. For the second time in three days, I got a track from the first Use Your Illusion Guns N’ Roses CD, a group that, like AC/DC, is great for pumping you up for a workout. Plus, as an added bonus, it makes for an awesome contrast when infectious pop like Guster follows. (If you haven’t given Guster a chance, please give Easy Wonderful a listen–it’s a tremendous album from beginning to end.)

I then get five songs named “Bad Boy”, although two are the same, with the Cowboy Junkies a live cover of the Beatles song that is also a cover of a Larry Williams song. The Cascada song is purely an act for my daughters–I knew nothing about them until I just looked them up to discover they’re a German pop act. I can’t pass the blame on the Miami Sound Machine–that’s a CD I purchased and continue to listen to from time to time. The last “Bad Boys” is a WWE instrumental theme song for Razor Ramon. I have little to nothing to add about the Spent Poets, whose CD I received from a friend while I was in college. Sometimes I look up the acts and songs in these lists on the web and wikipedia for inspiration. I was drawing a blank on the Spent Poets and when I found that they don’t even have a Wikipedia entry, I knew I’d be floundering here. It does make me feel sorry for them. Perhaps we should have a charity drive for them.

At my first job, I had a co-worker who was obsessed with a specific sort of musical triples, namely when a band released a song from an album that all had the same name (his example was always “Living in a Box” by Living in a Box from the album Living in a Box. I tried to get They Might Be Giants included, but while the band’s first album was named They Might Be Giants, the single with that name was on their third album Flood.  On today’s list I got to hear another example of that triple, as Bad Company’s song “Bad Company” was on their self-titled first album, although in the interest of full disclosure, I own it courtesy of their greatest hits CD, 10 From 6. 

As a struggling artist looking to break though, there must be nothing like having one of your songs picked to play weekly on one of the biggest TV shows. However, I wonder if having “Bad Day” constantly play as contestants were booted from American Idol ended up getting fans sick of the song. (The funny thing is that is the only season of Idol that I watched–my kids wanted to watch an early-season episode while we were in a motel room on a road trip and we ended up watching it weekly. We never really got into any subsequent seasons.)

There’s two upcoming CDs that I am specifically looking forward to getting. The first, by the Silversun Pickups, has a specific release day (May 8th–just days after The Avengers hits theaters, so I’m hoping it’s a week of meeting high expectations), while the second, the fourth album from M.I.A., does not–just Summer 2012. Both Kala and Maya continue to get heavy play from me (“XXXO” is  my primary ringtone), and I’m really enjoying “Bad Girls”, so the excitement for that album is at its peak.

Three last songs took me in different directions, starting with a trip back to the 80’s for Huey Lewis and the News, before I was rushed forward three decades for a Lady Gaga song from her most recent album. I got to close today’s musical book with the guitar god Eric Clapton.